Private Evaluations

Under the special education laws, parents have the right to obtain private evaluations paid for by the school district in certain situations.

  • A parent who disagrees with an evaluation conducted by a district has the right to request private evaluations.  If you ask for a private evaluation, and your child's school or the district does not respond within a reasonable time (several weeks), you may automatically be entitled to funding for the private evaluations.  
  • A parent may also be entitled to private testing if the district failed to test a child in a timely manner. 
  • Schools will often tell parents that they need to get outside testing.  If a school or IEP team has told you that you have to get outside testing or have your child see a doctor, you may be entitled to reimbursement for any costs that you expended. 
  • For NYC only:  If the district does not complete its evaluations of your child within 30 days of the date that a parent consents to testing, the NYC DOE is supposed to pay for a private evaluation. 
  • If a hearing officer orders an evaluation, it must be at district expense.
  • The IEP team is required to consider a private evaluation.   

A parent can file a hearing to obtain reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses already expended or to obtain an order directing the school district to pay for an evaluation that has not yet been conducted.